The Chief Executive, Mr Ho Iat Seng, today called on local media to continue to bear witness to – while carrying out their news reporting via various tools and platforms – the joint effort of all sectors in Macao to promote economic recovery and post-epidemic normalisation of society.
Mr Ho conveyed seasonal greetings at a lunch reception with representatives of Chinese-language local news organisations. In his speech, Mr Ho affirmed the positive role played by the media during the three years of the pandemic.
Mr Ho called on the media to continue as before, its work to: ensure opinions within the community are heard; assist the Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) Government in harnessing the opinions of the public to forge consensus; and continue to monitor the Government’s work, in order to facilitate the continuous improvement of governance.
The Chief Executive went on to say that, over the past three years, local media had kept up their reporting work directly from the community, helping the public to obtain rapidly information about the pandemic situation. At the same time, such reporting helped the public to learn more about the series of measures and actions being taken by various departments of the Government, in order to respond to the evolving epidemic, protect the lives and safety of residents, ensure social stability, and promote economic recovery.
In tandem, the media also actively assisted residents in communicating their views to the Government, which facilitated the continuous optimisation and improvement of the Government’s work in a number of areas, helping to address the demands and expectations of the community in a timely manner, noted Mr Ho.
Throughout this difficult period, and based on objective and credible news reporting, the media played a positive role in alleviating any anxiety felt by Macao’s residents, and in raising public awareness regarding the work being done by the Government, thus helping to boost overall community confidence in a return to normality after the pandemic.
As the haze of the pandemic dissipates, Macao has been rebuilding good momentum in terms of economic and social development. With the gradual relaxation of restrictions on the movement of people, the MSAR had entered a new phase of post-epidemic development, stated Mr Ho.
The Government would push further regarding: fully adhering to the spirit of the report of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and the series of important instructions from President Xi Jinping; and pursuing the overall policy direction of “boosting the economy, fostering economic diversification, alleviating livelihood hardships, preventing and controlling COVID-19, and promoting steady overall development of Macao”.
There would be additional effort to: grasp effectively the development opportunities offered by the country and make good use of the various policies and measures of the Central Government in support of Macao’s development; focus on promoting economic recovery; actively improve people’s livelihoods; solve the deep-rooted conflicts and problems in economic and social development; expedite the promotion of adequate economic diversification and the construction of the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone in Hengqin; better integrate into the overall national development plan; and to strive to break new ground in realising the “One country, two systems” principle with Macao characteristics.
Looking ahead, it was hoped that the media would continue to focus on, and report about, the Government’s achievements in various fields, helping residents and compatriots at home and abroad to understand the new direction and new development path set for Macao, thus furthering the role of the media sector in this crucial moment for Macao’s development, a path based on stable advancement, said Mr Ho.
The MSAR Government pledged to continue to protect freedom of the press in accordance with the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and the Basic Law of the MSAR, and to support the local media in news-reporting work and professional training, said Mr Ho.
The Government would also organise field trips and on-site reporting activities, to provide journalists with more channels and more opportunities to interact with representatives of various public departments, while continuing to assist the media in performing their professional duties. It was hoped that the Chinese-language media in Macao would continue to attract more consumers of news, via continuous, extensive, and in-depth coverage of public affairs, so as to consolidate and advance the credibility and influence of the media in Macao.